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David Hayes joins Biden’s climate team, steps down from Bill Lane Center advisory council role

Kylie Gordon
Jan 20 2021

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David Hayes, Bill Lane Center advisory council member and executive director of New York University Law’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, will join the Biden administration on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, as special assistant to the president for climate policy. With his expertise in renewable and conventional energy, natural resources, climate change and more, Hayes has been a tremendous asset to our Center, and to Stanford in general, at the Law School, and as a research scholar with our partner institutes Precourt and Woods.

A renowned environmental, energy and natural resources lawyer, Hayes previously served Presidents Barack Obama (2009-2013) and Bill Clinton (1999-2001) as the deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In this role, he was the Interior Department's chief operating officer, guiding its nine major bureaus and 70,000 employees. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my affiliation with the Bill Lane Center for the American West,” Hayes wrote in an email early Wednesday morning. “The Center combines scholarship with action, melding the historical perspective of its founder, David Kennedy, with the political acuity of its director, Bruce Cain. It's a model for how a great academic institution like Stanford can be true to both its research and pedological missions, while also making tangible contributions to addressing the issues of the day." 

Hayes will waste no time in beginning to address these pressing issues.  He assumes his new position shortly after Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States.

“We are excited for David to be back in government again,” said Bruce Cain, faculty director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West and professor of political science. “David was an exemplary leader on our advisory council, and spoke at a number of BLC events and programs, including our Rural West Conference. Under his expert guidance, I think the Biden administration can start to break down the partisan polarization over climate change.”

Founding Co-director of the Center, David Kennedy, remarked, “David Hayes’ lifelong commitment to public service and his prior experience in government position him to be a key player in the Biden administration’s effort to come to grips with climate change. We at the Bill Lane Center are hugely proud of him and wish him all the best.” 

We wish David Hayes great success in his new role advising President Biden on climate policy, and we look forward to continuing our work tackling challenging climate issues here at the Bill Lane Center.


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